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 Frequently Asked Questions


What is Odyssey of the Mind?

Odyssey of the Mind is an international, creative problem-solving program for students in kindergarten through college, founded in 1978 by Dr. Sam Micklus, Professor.


What are the competing divisons?

Primary - Kindergarten through 2nd grade (Non-competitive)

Division I - Kindergarten - Grade 5

Division II - Grades 6 - 8

Division III - Grades 9 - 12

Division IV - Collegiate

A Primary team is a non-competitive team. However, students in those grades can be on a competitive Division I team.


How are teams formed?

A school or organization becomes a member and organizes teams of up to seven students. Teams can be formed through various avenues such as coaches, coordinators, teachers, the students themselves, etc.


How is a team competition organized?

In the competition setting, all teams in the same division of a single problem will face each other. Their scores are compared in three different elements (long-term, style, and spontaneous) and placements are normalized with a calculated score at the end of the day. All teams in the same problem/division will have the same spontaneous problem as well as the same judges in all aspects.


How do we get a membership and start competing?

Get a national membership that allows the school to field one team in each long-term problem for each division the school covers. Choose a coordinator who will communicate with the regional director, register the membership with national and state, and distribute information to the coaches, parents, & teams. Find a coach (or two) for each team and encourage them to attend the coaches' training sessions that we offer in the Fall (September through December).


What Types of Problems Are Used?

Each year Odyssey of the Mind publishes six Long-Term Problems that use open-ended and challenging problems that allow for a wide range of responses. Problems may involve building mechanical devices such as spring-driven cars, giving their own portrayals of classical literature, or many other challenges. Additionally, during tournaments each team will enter the spontaneous problem room and face a creative challenge never seen before. They are judged according to the creativity of their solution and their teamwork.


Who Runs the Odyssey of the Mind?

Not-for-profit organizations administer the Odyssey of the Mind program in each participating U.S. state and several countries. Each organization is run by a local Association Director. The organizations are licensed by Creative Competitions, Inc. (CCI), which provides all of the problems and materials necessary to run training sessions and tournaments.


Still Have A Question?

Visit the Contact Us page and send us your questions. We try our best to do all the necessary research and respond to you in a reasonable time frame.


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